Wednesday 21 February 2018

Law student (25) loses €60,000 damages claim after breaking finger in store door

Laurentia Racu pictured leaving the Four Courts Credit: Collins Courts
Laurentia Racu pictured leaving the Four Courts Credit: Collins Courts

Saurya Cherfi

A 25-year-old law student, who claimed she broke her left little finger and lost her nail when a “heavy” store door slammed on her hand, has lost a €60,000 damages claim in the Circuit Civil Court.

Judge Jaqueline Linnane said she was satisfied the entrance door at Polonez, Cork Street, Dublin had not been defective and Laurentia Racu had been the author of her own misfortune.

Judge Linnane said Ms Racu claimed that in November 2013, she used the handle on the store door to push it open, walked in and turned around to guide the door close with her left hand.

Her finger had been caught in the closing edge of the door, with her nail left hanging.  She had later been taken by ambulance to St James’ Hospital where x-rays revealed a fracture in her finger.   

Racu, with an address at The Mill, Riversquare, Dublin, claimed the door had been heavy and swung back in a “speedy” manner.  She had been working as a hotel receptionist at the time and had been off work for one week.

The judge today said Ms Racu had told in evidence that she had been familiar with the store and had been concerned that the door swung back.  Ms Racu had been afraid that it would hit somebody, even though nobody had been behind her. 

The judge said it was the defendant’s case that Ms Racu had been hesitant when she entered the store and had been trying to remove earphones from her ears as she walked in.

The store had denied the door had been altered when a joint engineers’ inspection took place last year and it claimed Ms Racu had been inattentive and careless when her “unfortunate” accident happened.  

Judge Linnane told Sarah Corcoran, for Mordern House Limited, which owns the store, that the joint inspection had revealed no defect in the door.

The judge said it was very clear from the engineering evidence that the door had handles both on the outside and on the inside. 

“If Ms Racu was so concerned about the door swinging back and hitting somebody, although there was no one behind her, she should have used the inside handle,” the judge said. 

Judge Linnane, dismissed Ms Racu’s case and awarded legal costs against her.

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